Coastal Construction in Rhode Island

Rhode Island, all new construction or substantial improvement (cost > 50% market value) shall be designed and constructed to resist flood hazards and flood loads per the following codes:

  • IBC 2009 Section 1612:  Flood Loads (IBC Highlights)
  • IRC 2009 Section R322:  Flood Resistant Construction (IRC Highlights)
  • ASCE 7-05 Chapter 5:  Flood Loads
  • ASCE 24-05 Flood Resistant Design&Construction (ASCE 24 Highlights)
  • Rhode Island Building Code SBC-1 (2010) Appendix G

The base flood elevation (BFE) will need to be determined for the project.   The BFE is the height above sea level using NGVD 29 or NGVD 88 reference datum for the 1% flood event.   Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) show special flood hazard areas (SFHA).  Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMS) have been updated for all RI communities.   For Maps, see the following links...

DIRMS have the following zones:

  • ZONE VE (commonly referred to as "V Zones" or CHHZ "Coastal High Hazard Zones")
  • ZONE AE (contains both "A Zones" and CAZ "Coastal A Zones"*)
  • ZONE X

Coastal A Zones (CAZ) are not located specifically on these maps but  are defined as zones where breaking waves are between 1.5 feet and 3 feet.   It is necessary to determine whether a structure located within Zone AE falls within CAZ. Coastal A Zones (CAZ)and V Zones (CHHZ) are areas that are subjected to high-velocity wave action and must meet the provisions of Section 4 of ASCE-24.

• Settings >> Advanced >> Code Injection >> Footer